Today’s Illustration: When The Big One Hit!

  20,000 People Were Housed In Tent Camps Erected After The Disaster


On This Day:  Tuesday, April 18, 1906 — While most of San Francisco was asleep, at 5:13 in the morning, approximately 450,000 people were awakened by the Great San Francisco Earthquake!

Facts & Information:

It was a 7.8 magnitude quake based on today’s Richter scale scientific estimates (The Richter Scale was not in place at the time of the SF quake)

In the previous days, committees had been formed and meeting to think about how they would handle the possibility of an earthquake — as that which had just happened in Formosa

$10,000 had been collected by the area’s residence for an earthquake in Formosa — March 17, 1906 — third deadliest in Tawain-Formosa history

Firefighters had just spent the previous night fighting a fire at the California Cannery Company and were already exhausted.

Ran along the San Andreas fault lines.

It was felt in Oregon, Lost Angeles, and Nevada.

“700” died — a figure believed to be underestimated.  Other estimates bring it to about 3,000 people.

Lasted 45 – 60 seconds

A large number of residents were living in houses under 200 square feet.

250,000 people were left homeless — that was approximately half of the population.

At the time, San Francisco was “the financial, trade and cultural center of the West; operated the busiest port on the West Coast; and was the “gateway to the Pacific”, through which growing U.S. economic and military power was projected into the Pacific and Asia.”

It was the fires which broke out due to the earthquake which did most of the damage at the end.  Some estimate that 90% of the damage was due to the fires.

$6.4 billion in damage (in 2018 dollars).

Rebuilding was comparatively fast — being mostly finished by 1915.

The earthquake and resultant fires destroyed 500 city blocks.

 Dynamite was used for destroying some buildings to set up a fire-stop.

Previous lesser earthquakes had occurred in 1857, 1865, 1868, and 1890.

Approximately 50 fires were blazing in the first 30 minutes after the quake.

The city employed approximately 585 firefighters.

It was hard to pinpoint the fires because the alarms system was not working due to the fires and quake.

Many of the city’s water mains were broken by the quake, making it difficult to impossible to fight the fires.

It was stated that in some areas of the fire, the flames moved as fast as a person could run.  Streets were narrow and houses were close together.


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• The Tribulation
• It is all coming down one day.
• Say not, Today or Tomorrow We Will Do This Or That
• Disaster
• Total Loss
• While asleep
• Revelation 18
• Lost
• For Many — All lost
• Life’s “Big Ones”
• run for your life
• no way to fight the fire
• 45-60 seconds later
• warned by lesser ones
• Wood vs. Brick: wood flexes, but it also burns
• When the big one, and the last one, hits!
• already exhausted and then this
• the alarm system destroyed
• Which did the most damage?
• “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, more ever shall be”



Other Information & Links:

Rebuilding included 5,000 cottages.

“As a way to help the rebuild of San Francisco’s housing stock, the earthquake shacks were essentially rent to own. Tenants paid $2/month (take a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor) toward the total cost of $50. Once the cottage was all paid off, the owner had the responsibility to move it from the camp to a permanent location. In a happy twist of fate, the program enabled lower-income residents to become homeowners for the first time.

Once the cottages were moved to their new homes, the owners would build extensions onto them or even hodge-podge a few together to make a bigger house. That’s why many of the remaining shacks are borderline unidentifiable today from behind their larger facades. The surviving shacks are scattered all over the city, and sometimes they even come up for sale.” — tinyhouses



Formosa Earthquake:



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